Originally Posted by Pollyanna
Ken, since he's a crossover artist he will naturally appear sometimes here, sometimes there. From an online music retailer's website ...
Kenny G has single-handedly transformed jazz into a genre that actually sells records in numbers normally associated with modern pop stars (over 30 million sold so far). Unlike such Smooth Jazz pioneers as Grover...
See? It's just marketing BS. Many musicians refuse to be pigeon-holed and for good reason. Genre labels carry certain semantics that can give entirely the wrong impression. The semantic of "jazz" has changed as did "metal". Maybe metal has it right with their numerous micro-genres? That really helps their audience know what they are going to get. A jazzer can try to explain the difference between the sub genres but only the musically informed will get it.
I've been the one arguing here for quite some time that genre is all marketing these days so you'll get no argument from me.
That statement in quotes above is just wrong, no matter how many times people say it, no matter who says it or where it is said. Kenny G has done nothing for jazz, G's music isn't a 'gateway genre' into the world of the higher jazz consciousness. lol
This is part of what Pat is getting at. If anything, it lowers the bar so that now there is this expectation that people write meandering mindless crap to make money and call it jazz. Then you put that artist on stage with Louis Armstrong, the progenitor of jazz, it's Fountainhead, its greatest proponent, one of the leading figures in the history of jazz and American music to validate this meandering crap. Someone says (and not just any one but one of jazz's leading figures) "hey, look this is crap and offensive to any one who has a serious interest in jazz." It's not about being arrogant or elitist, it is about someone with marginal talent actually thinking they could share the stage with Louis Armstrong. That is arrogant and elitist. Is stating that really so controversial, like you said, stating the obvious.
Standards are the 'gateway tunes' into the higher world of jazz consciousness. Music that is so accessible from Coltrane's rendition of My Favorite Things, Armstrong's West End Blues, Diz's Night in Tunisia, Parker's Confirmation, Jarrett's 25 min rendition of Autumn Leaves, So What? Blue Monk, Birdland, Mercy, Mercy Mercy. There was a marching band for the St Pat's Parade here in NY doing Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. Is Green Dolphin Street or All the Things You Are that inaccessible. Everybody even Pat Metheny has done them. If you want to learn classical music, you get a book of Scarlatti and Mozart piano sonatas. If you want to learn jazz you get a book of the standards.Then you listen to how artists have interpreted them and the other things that they have written and performed. You look for some of the historic recordings, you go to a couple of clubs and see whose hot.You could do thins all on youtube. Yeah, a real accessibility problem.